Today few Americans remember this day, this day that was supposed to 'live in infamy forever." At least according to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
I mentioned to a few friends last week that the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor was approaching and they asked how I managed to remember when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor.
I didn't ask back "How could you not remember when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor?" It seemed pointless to ask. What was I going to do? There was no way I was going to start laying into the person how important this day was.
The imperial navy of Japan targeted Pearl Harbor to destroy our Pacific Fleet. 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes were damaged and destroyed. This sheer horror for those who suffered through this attack is unimaginable for the rest of us.
Perhaps this is why it ticks me off that so few of us remember these events, these events shaped the world, yes, but this event, the sneak attack bombing of our naval base at Pearl Harbor turned the world upside down for a generations of Americans.
The attack at Pearl Harbor pulled America into World War ll. When World War ll was over almost a half a million Americans had lost their lives fighting for all of us.
The loss of life at Pearl Harbor was limited mostly to our military personnel, but more importantly it was the nature of the attack, the Japanese hit us just after seven o'clock on a Sunday morning, they caught us flat footed. They knew this was a day of worship, a day Americans would be going to church to give their maker thanks and praise for his glory and mercy.
In a matter of seven hours the Japanese rained down hell on our men and killing 2,335 members of our military and 68 civilians. I am at a loss of as to how the describe what these brave souls must have felt, or how they didn't stop fighting back.
Imagine being a sailor from mainland stationed in Pearl Harbor, you must have felt like you were in paradise. And suddenly what would have been the start to a beautiful Sunday morning you wake to the sound of gunfire and bombs dropping.
One hundred and eleven thousand six hundred and six men lost their lives in the Pacific theatre, two hundred and fifty three thousand one hundred and forty two men were wounded and twenty one thousand and five hundred and eighty men were taken prisoner. Those lucky ones that made it home didn't come back to us the same as they left, we all still count our blessings that we got them back though.
It isn't any consolation to know that 129 Japanese lost their lives on December 7th and only one of the ships that helped carry out the attack that day survived the war. I mention this only to point out that even though this determined enemy sucker punched us Americans stood up and swung back. This is something to never forget.
The war in the pacific started before our taking on the Nazi's and it lasted long after brave American soldiers help liberate Europe.
War, how do you even approach such a horrible thought yet we must. War represents real failure, it is a breakdown of everything we all hold dear. Yet on December 7th in 1942 the brave men and women of Pearl Harbor stood up to an enemy that attacked them as dawn was breaking.
We can never forget what they did there. And we can't forget the enormous sacrifice Americans paid to crush the Japanese in the Pacific for their crimes on December 7th. Don't forget America, December 7th, 1942 should be a day that lives in infamy forever, but it is up to you to make sure it does.